Just hours before the highly anticipated World Cup match-up between the U.S. and Germany is scheduled to begin, the host city of Recife, Brazil has been slammed by torrential rains.
CNN reported that around 2.9 inches of rain has already fallen. It has been raining for the last 24 hours and it is expected to continue raining throughout the day. FIFA officials examined the pitch this morning and determined the game can go ahead as planned. The pitch is reportedly soft, but playable.
— Cindy Boren (@CindyBoren) June 26, 2014
Meanwhile, Twitter is bursting with pictures of flooded streets and cars stranded in water. Some dedicated U.S. fans are reportedly walking up to 17 miles to make it to the stadium on time, after having abandoned their cars in the rising waters.
This is just the latest time flash flooding has struck the World Cup. Right before the opening match, Curitiba, one of Brazil’s 12 host cities, was underwater. At least 11 people are believed to have died in those floods. More recently, Natal, where the U.S. played Ghana, was pounded by two days of non-stop rain that dumped 13 inches on the city. Landslides destroyed homes and at least 50 people had to be evacuated.
While deadly flooding happens in Brazil almost every year, the timing of these deluges is bizarre. Flooding mostly occurs in Brazil during the summer rainy season. Brazil’s winter months, May to August, are usually mostly dry.
These types of unusually heavy downpours are becoming increasingly common as the world warms and the atmosphere is able to hold more moisture.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 26, 2014
— John Juhasz (@JohnJuhasz) June 26, 2014
Massive flooding in Recife pic.twitter.com/cPeNz5lVgg
— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) June 26, 2014
Traffic! Rain! Recife! Sports! pic.twitter.com/CHlP3T4aHH
— Mike Foss (@themikefoss) June 26, 2014
— Pete Delkus (@wfaaweather) June 26, 2014
— David McDonnell (@DiscoMirror) June 26, 2014
— SB Nation (@SBNation) June 26, 2014
— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) June 26, 2014
And a look at the regional weather:
Rainfall in Recife, Brazil very much a coastal event as inland Brazil is dry. 24-hr forecast from 12z Wed: pic.twitter.com/YoYH7CZs7u
— Ryan N. Maue (@RyanMaue) June 26, 2014
— Alex Lamers (@AlexJLamers) June 26, 2014
This post has been updated to note that the match will go on as scheduled, as well as switching out a a photo of flooding in New York City that was depicted as a photo of Brazil, for one of FIFA officials inspecting the pitch.